Today I still wanted to release something, so I thought it would be fun to go through 10 of my favorite fiction books. This is ostensibly a top 10 list best fiction books.
I know the top three at least are my top three, and the rest of them are sort of maybe in dubious order. But these are things that I really enjoyed reading and I hope maybe you can find something that you’ll enjoy as well on this list.
Now, a couple of ground rules before we get started. Number one, I have not included graphic novels, because I could probably fill an entire list with graphic novels on another day.
And number two, no two books from the same series. I’m not saying the same author is off limits, but the same series is. Now, that being said, let’s get started with number 10.
10. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
I am very agnostic when it comes to the format of books I read. I like Kindle books. I like physical books. And I like audio books. So if I don’t own the physical edition,I’m just going to pop a picture up right here like this.
Snow Crash is on the list becauseI absolutely love Stephenson’s writing and I love cyberpunk fiction. This is the book that actually coined the term “avatar” in cyberspace terms. I really enjoyed it.
There’s one other Stephenson book that I’ve read so farthat I like more, which is coming up in the list,but I highly recommend this bookif you like cyberpunk fiction at all.
9. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Number nine on my list is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Now this is a book that didn’t really change my life or teach me any big lessons or anything, but I just absolutely enjoyed listening to it.
It’s a book about basically virtual reality, a kid who goes into a huge virtual reality world, and there’s all these ’80s video game and movie and music references.
Even though I wasn’t born in the ’80s, a lot of it was stuff I watched growing up as a kid. It was just super cool to basically nerd outwhile listening to this book. I did listen to it.
I will recommend the audiobook version of this book. While I usually like to create the character voicesin my head and narrate my own way,I really liked Will Wheaton’s narration of this book.
Will Wheaton’s amazing in general,and his narration of this book is great. Definitely check it out. Read it either way, but I love the audiobook version.
8. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Book number eight is The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. You’re probably getting a little bit of a sci-fi vibe here, and yes, the majority of my favorite fictionis sci fi and fantasy.
But I absolutely loved this book. It has a lot of themes about freewill and actually made me think a lot. My friend Martin, who was actually my roommate, recommended this book to me, and I believe it is his favorite book.
Didn’t really top the favorite list for me, but I did enjoy it a lot, so it makes this list.
7. Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
Book number seven is Ender’s Shadow, yes Shadow, not Game. I absolutely love Ender’s Game. It’s also one of my favorite books. However, I thought Shadow was a little bitmore compelling because it tells the storyfrom Bean’s perspective instead of Ender’s.
There’s a little bit more grittiness to it. There’s a little bit more of the tactical, nitty gritty details of how they win the battles, and I really liked seeing his perspective, and also that secondary perspective opened up a lot of new perspective on Ender’s thoughts.
So definitely check it out if you haven’t read it. But I would recommend reading Ender’s Game first.
6. Desert Spear by Peter Brett
Book number six is the Desert Spear by Peter Brett. Now this book is part of a series called The Demon Cycle,and there are currently four books out right now.
I’ve read all four and I’m eagerly awaiting the fifth one,which I believe should be the conclusion of the series. Basically it’s a story about these demons who come up at night, and they’re basically invincible and unkillable to all the humans, until . . . Well, you’ll just have to read what happens. But it’s pretty darn cool.
This is the one book on my list that I like better than the original start of the series. I absolutely love the first one, which is called The Warded Man, or The Painted Man, depending on where you live.
But The Desert Spear has a much more interesting setting, in my opinion, and some cooler relationships that are built along its storyline. Definitely recommend the entire series, but the second one is my favorite so far.
5. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Book number five I actually own in print, and it is Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Now, I’m going to go on a limb here and say that the entire Mistborn series, at least the first three books, are my favorite in the number five category.
I just arbitrarily picked the first one, because I think I love all three equally. But the reason I like Mistborn so muchis, number one, it’s just a great fantasy series.
But number two, the magic system is so well thought out, and it’s actually got limitations and hard rules. I think that makes for more interesting character interactions and situations than more arbitrary just whiz bang magic systems like more Tolkien-esque fiction will have.
That’s why I love them. I also note that there is a new series of Mistborn books called The Wax and Wayne Trilogy, which there are two of those out currently, and those ones are usually shorter.
I think they’re like half -each one’s is like half the length of a normal Mistborn book. But they’re also really great fun to read.
So I’d recommend basically everything in the Mistborn series and pretty much everything Brandon Sanderson has wrote is great.
4. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Book number four is The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, and yes, this is the second recommendation from Neal Stephenson on this list. I have pretty much every other book Neal Stephensonhas written since then, except for Seven Eves, which is his newest one. I have yet to get through those ones because, well, reading can be tough when you run a business.
But I did get through both Snow Crash and Diamond Age. I think I liked The Diamond Age a little bit more, probably because of the character interactions, but also because his mixture of the cyperpunk, ridibulous future nanotech setting, mixed with a resurgence of Victorian fashion and ideals, was just awesome.
Everything Neal Stephenson dreams up in that head of hisis just super cool to read about. Now, this was another one that I did in audiobook format.
I’m not sure if the audiobook version was as compelling as the Will Wheaton narration of Ready Player One, but i really did like it.
So if you’re into audiobooks, I would recommend the audiobook version of this. Though if you’re not, reading it would be cool, too.
3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I absolutely love this book. This was recommended to me on a whim from my friend Carly. I read nothing about it going in. Honestly, I think that’s the bestbook-reading experience you can have.
I like just taking things on blind recommendation if they are good. I got lucky with this one because it is absolutely amazing. Like Mistborn, it has incredibly well thought outmagic system with physical properties and limitations.
But also, I just like the characterizationa little bit more than the characters in Mistborn, and that’s why this book gets a little bit higher spot on the list from me.
2. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
All right, moving on to the pen ultimate pick on this list, and this might be where any dislikes for this article comes from, because my pick for number two is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which is a fan fiction.
Now, this fan fiction story was written by an artificial intelligence researcher named Eliezer Yudkowsky, who’s also written a lot on rationality and critical thinking. This book is basically his attemptat teaching rationality and critical thinking without you really realizing it.
This book basically imagines a universe where Harry Potter, instead of just beinga normal 11-year-old boy, is essentially a genius who thinks through everything rationally and like a scientist. What I love about this book is all the other charactersare adjusted to match Harry.
So it’s not like he’s just going throug hand having an easy time of everything. All the other characters are much smarter. If you like things like Sherlock or Death Note, or more rational, cerebral pieces of fiction, then I think you’ll really enjoy this.
I’m not going to say you’re going to enjoy it more than cannon. I personally do, but I don’t want to saythat it’s better than cannon, because obviously it builds upon already excellent foundation of story and setting and characters that J. K. Rowling has built.
I absolutely love the cannon. But for me, I think I enjoyed MOR a little bit more. Also, it got me into reading about rationality and reading about critical thinking skills, and heuristics, and biases, and things that have made me a better thinker.
This is one of those rare pieces of fiction that has made a tangible change in my life, and that’s why it gets such a high place on this list.
1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I just love the dry British humor that Douglas Adams puts into them. Just read these books no matter who you are. They are fantastic. They’re weird. If you watched the movie and didn’t like it, well, I absolutely loved the movie, so we’re kind of on opposite sides with that thing.
But I will say that the book version is just so much better. I grew up listening to the audiobook version of this book every night for years.
There are actually multiple versions. There’s a version that is read by an entire cast, where every character has their own voice actor. That one’s pretty cool.
Steven Fry has his own narration version, which I believe is the most popular. That one’s awesome. But the one I recommend, if you can find it, is the one that is read by Douglas Adams himself.
His narration is just amazing. It’s just awesome. So those are top 10 favorite fiction books, at least at this point in my life. I’m curious to know what you think of the books on this list.
Do you like some of them? Do you dislike some of them? I also want to know, based on what I’ve told you about my favorite fiction books, what should I read next? All right, guys, that’s it. Thanks so much for read, and I will see you.